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Editorial: There’s Still a Chance for settlement

Yesterday (9th of March) was the first anniversary of the incumbent government under President Ashraf Ghani’s leadership. It was not an easy day. Some rockets landed at the outskirts of Presidential Palace. It was also not an easy inaugural ceremony as his main rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was also busy taking oath as an elected president at his place which is next to Ghani. Fear covered everywhere because for the first time in history two presidents were swearing-in. Nothing was left for another civil war. It was due to fraudulent elections that Abdullah did not recognize Ghani’s victory, but eventually the Afghan political leaders intervened and exerted all-out efforts to resolve inner disputes between Ghani and Abdullah that finally led to a deal. The country was almost divided in two parts. However, now Dr. Abdullah is the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, having a huge task to open ways for a political settlement with the Taliban.

President Ghani has given lots of promises to the Afghan people. Fight against corruption and poverty, justice and social equality, indefatigable efforts to end the ongoing war, creating more jobs, etc… were the main promises. But now the situation is totally different, more people have lost jobs, the level of poverty is high, war is intensifying, security situation is deteriorating across the country, especially in Kabul. President Ghani is yet to complete his cabinet as today at least six ministries are run by caretakers. Both Ghani and Abdullah are responsible for today’s Afghanistan which is surely not in a good condition. But a historic opportunity is in front of them, the peace process that so far failed to bear any results. But this has to be succeeded because war is taking a high toll on the Afghan people both civilian and in uniform. This should not slip away and both the leaders must do all in the capacity for a dignified peace. Unfortunately, the political spectrum has been largely based on short-term goals and mere personnel interests, far away from the large national interests and ambition to serve the people. It’s a golden chance for President Ghani to take onboard other leaders and influential figures and collectively give a united message to the Taliban to come and agree to a format where they are able to end the war. That could be anything, and President Ghani must not be afraid of making compromise as it could lead Afghanistan toward a peaceful future.

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